At long last, Bjork lights the lamp

Boston Herald - - NHL SCOREBOARD - By MARISA INGEMI Twit­ter: @Marisa_Ingemi


The wait­ing game paid off for

An­ders Bjork.

Af­ter miss­ing most of train­ing camp re­cov­er­ing from shoul­der surgery, which he had mid­way through last sea­son, the Bru­ins winger had to catch up.

He was re­warded for his ef­forts with a goal in yes­ter­day’s 8-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings, his first since Dec. 7. He didn’t play in the sea­son opener against Wash­ing­ton but has seen time in each of the past four games, all wins.

It was a spe­cial mo­ment for Bjork and also for a Bru­ins brass that wasn’t sure what they were go­ing to get from him this sea­son.

“It’s great for him be­cause it’s been a long time com­ing,” coach

Bruce Cas­sidy said. “He’s worked to be in the lineup. We didn’t talk a lot about him in Au­gust. We weren’t sure when he’d be in. He kind of pushed him­self into the lineup.”

Bjork didn’t play un­til the fi­nal pre­sea­son game, and though he wasn’t in the open­ing night lineup, he forced the Bru­ins to give him an op­por­tu­nity.

Yes­ter­day, he was part of an of­fen­sive on­slaught against the win­less Red Wings. He was joined in the goals col­umn by David Pas­tr­nak (three), Jake DeBrusk (two), Char­lie McAvoy and Sean Ku­raly. Watch­ing all those goals was fur­ther mo­ti­va­tion to get in­volved.

“I think it gets me ex­cited, and I think it gets every­one ex­cited,” Bjork said. “Those are some of my closer friends, too, not just team­mates. It pushes me for sure to get in on the ac­tion.”

Bjork had some close calls in his first three games, but he didn’t break the ice un­til yes­ter­day, and he even earned some time on the power play. He was brim­ming with con­fi­dence in the locker room.

“I think it’s big,” said Bjork, who played with Ryan Donato and cen­ter David Backes. “Hope­fully it’s big for our line, too. I think that was our first 5-on-5 goal, so we can get things go­ing a bit. It’s some­thing that you’re think­ing about, and once you get the first one, you can re­lax a lit­tle bit.”

Bjork played 14:33, the fifth­most among B’s for­wards. Some of that came on the man-ad­van­tage, but he’s started to gain the coach­ing staff’s trust in var­i­ous sit­u­a­tions.

Bjork didn’t fall off the radar in the off­sea­son, but he turned enough heads in camp to be more of a con­sid­er­a­tion for the lineup.

Per­for­mances like yes­ter­day are help­ful go­ing for­ward.

“That’s why you don’t pick your team in July some­times,” Cas­sidy said. “You just let it de­velop.”

DeBrusk pitches in

Like Bjork, DeBrusk’s hard work fi­nally was re­warded. The winger had a strong game on his off wing Thurs­day night, and he car­ried that mo­men­tum into yes­ter­day’s game.

He pot­ted his first two goals of the sea­son, which was good tim­ing for a young player who was search­ing for his game.

“If it drags on, you start over­think­ing it,” Cas­sidy said. “I think Jake was get­ting close. He could have had three or four tonight.”

Tuukka im­pressed

Pas­tr­nak’s break­out sea­son is im­press­ing more than just the for­wards and coach­ing staff.

From across the ice, goalie Tuukka Rask no­ticed the first goal, say­ing, “Just, wow.”

The net­min­der also had some anal­y­sis for what makes No. 88 so dif­fi­cult to stop.

“He’s kind of sneaky, just the way he gets the puck and winds up,” Rask said. “You don’t think too much of it, but then he picks up speed across the red line and the (de­fense) gets caught stand­ing still just a lit­tle bit, and (the) next thing you know (it’s a goal.)”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.